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Can Amazon keep Kindle's fire going?

Amazon's Kindle, the electronic book reader

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Amid the economic misery, one of the few retailers with rising sales has been Amazon.com. The company hopes to keep the momentum going today, when it's expected to announce a design upgrade for its electronic book reader, Kindle. Marketplace's Janet Babin reports from the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio:


Janet Babin: The Kindle looks like a little electronic notebook. The display reads like real paper, no links or cables to weigh you down.

A sleeker or less expensive Kindle reader could be unveiled today. But Amazon doesn't seem to be banking its future on the new design. Late last week, it said it would also offer its electronic books on cell phones. That could make its Kindle reader unnecessary.

But University of North Carolina Professor Paul Jones isn't sure books on phones will sell:

Paul Jones: The question that you have to ask is, how much reading do you want to do on your phone, or do you need a separate device to do that reading. That's really about to be answered in the marketplace.

Last Thursday, Google made titles from its book service available on the iPhone, and on Google's Android phones.

The group that wins in this competition? Book publishers. They still make money off their titles without the expense of printing them.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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